Invite and Be a Light

by Joel Brown, January 22, 2016

On Friday, March 4, 2016 Solel will be coming together as a community to perform a collective mitzvah. Our Shabbat service that evening will be our special “Invite Your Neighbour” service. This is a really wonderful opportunity for us as Solelniks.

The Invite Your Neighbour service is in many ways just like any other Friday night service, but it is very special in a couple of important ways. While we’re always happy to have visitors and guests join us at any service, on March 4 we’re making a particular effort to invite and welcome people who are not accustomed to attending Jewish worship services. As a synagogue, we’ve reached out to our interfaith and community partners to extend an invitation to join us. Our service that night will have all of the usual prayers and songs that make up a Friday evening service, but we’ll be making a special effort to explain what we’re doing, and also, importantly, why we do it. At the conclusion of the service, we’re planning a wonderful oneg to be able to share fellowship with our guests and each other over refreshments.

What makes the Invite Your Neighbour service so important? Torah commands us to be a light – to lead by example. The broader community in which we live is extremely diverse. We find ourselves in the midst of every culture, faith and creed. Getting along together requires understanding and mutual respect, and this cannot be achieved without getting to really know each other. The Invite Your Neighbour service is a perfect opportunity for us as Solelniks to help our neighbours get to know and better understand us, and in many ways, to learn about how much we as Jews share with their own faith traditions.

So “what can I do?” I hear you asking! First and most importantly, you can join us for the Invite Your Neighbour service on Friday, March 4, 2016 at 8:00pm. Second, if you have friends, neighbours or colleagues who haven’t been to a Jewish service and who you think may find it interesting or instructive, by all means please invite them to be your personal guest. Finally, if you like to bake, please consider contacting the Solel office to let them know what you can contribute to our oneg.
I look forward to seeing you on March 4 as we perform the collective mitzvah of being a light and bringing just a little more understanding and shalom into the world.

Filed under: President's Message

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